The government has provided training and start up kits for 4,252 rural apprentices in metal works, auto-repairs, electronics, leatherworks, masonry and blacksmithing under the Rural Enterprise Skills Project.
In addition, 500 rural micro and small-scale enterprises were supported through the training of master crafts persons and created about 8,000 new jobs in the rural areas.
“Over 520 rural entrepreneurs have been supported with credit facilities worth about GH¢1,120,” Dr Kwabena Duffuor announced when presenting the 2011 Budget Statement to Parliament in Accra on Thursday.
He said three rural technology facilities in the Assin South, Garu Tempane and North Tongu Districts were completed and four more were about 70 per cent level of completion.
“These would allow for the manufacture of simple machinery to support agro processing and small-scale industrial activities,” he said.
During the year under review, 18 rural technology facilities were provided with Nissan Pick-ups and standby generators, 40 District Business Advisory Centres were supplied with motorbikes, and six new Business Advisory Centres were also supplied with office equipment.
The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) provided business development assistance to 23,879 businesses, 322 SMME entrepreneurs, provided training and finance through loans amounting to GH¢234,281 as part of the efforts to facilitate job creation.
The GRATIS Foundation provided training to 300 technical apprentices in metal machining, welding and fabrication, foundry and woodwork.
The company manufactured 141 units of cassava, and palm fruit processing equipment, which were exported to Sierra Leon and Cameroon.
In addition, it developed several new prototype machines for use on the local market; they include crop residue processor, multi-crop thresher with a winnower5, food wormer, a tomato pulping machine, and a soap processing plant.
The Business Development Services Fund provided 3.3 million dollars grant to 142 SME’s to acquire technical assistance to address issues of low productivity, access to markets, product development and access to finance.
The Ghana Standards Board (GSB) through the Private Sector Development Strategy Phase One programme refurbished the soil and fertilizer laboratories.
It also developed an Export System Alert Website to provide information to exporters on export quality queries and alerts from the country’s major export markets to exporter.
The GSB also inspected 2,663 fuel pumps and accessories at 432 fuel stations, calibrated 3,438 weighting and measuring instruments, verified 18,572 trading devices, reviewed and adopted 252 standards for ensuring the quality of selected products.
To streamline exports of non-ferrous scrap metal LI 1969 was passed in 2010 to ensure that exporters did not misclassify ferrous scrap for local production, while LI 1962 was passed to ensure the payment of corporate income tax by free Zone Enterprises registered under the Free Zones Act.